West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, 5th day April 19, 2012

An hour to cherish, 20 minutes to forget

Despite the weather forcing a draw, the Trinidad Test fit in much that was worth savouring
42

Rain giveth, and rain taketh away. The same precipitation that on day four had pushed the Trinidad Test towards a contest open to both sides had the ill manners to return about the same time on day five, and so consign the match to the dustbin of history occupied by most weather-affected draws. But the 11 overs of the West Indies chase, and the handful that had concluded the Australian second innings before them, a little more than an hour's cricket in all, left a feeling of warmth about the leadership of both the hosts and the visitors.

At the same time the rain reduced the chance that the 20 minutes of bright sunshine lost for murky reasons on the third morning would be pored over with greater intensity, for had it been played the match would not ultimately have been much closer to achieving a result. Nonetheless it will stick uncomfortably in the craw of all present at the ground at the scheduled start time that technological and commercial concerns had been deemed so critical as to stop a Test match in what were the best and sunniest conditions of its five days.

Two days on, Darren Sammy and Michael Clarke tried their very best on the final afternoon to bring about a result, by whatever means they had within their power. A draw was enough to secure the Frank Worrell Trophy for Australia, retained on every occasion since it was so enterprisingly won by Mark Taylor's men in 1995, but Clarke was thinking of victory every moment of the day until the rain closed in. Bad light was the initial cause of the players' departure, and Clarke argued the point quite forcefully with the umpires Ian Gould and Marais Erasmus before reluctantly walking off for the last time.

"Unfortunately there's nothing I could do about the weather," Clarke said later. "Darren and I spoke on the ground right at the end before we came off for bad light and both captains wanted to do everything we could to stay out there but as the umpires said it was just way too dark unfortunately, even though I said I'd bowl spin at both ends. I said at that stage, because I'd had Shane Watson bowl the last over from that end, is it okay if I bring on two spinners but they told me it was even too dark for that.

"There's going to be times throughout the rest of my career that it [being aggressive] might backfire and we might lose every now and then. But I enjoy the brand of cricket that we're playing at the moment. I know the guys are really focused on the team having success and trying to win as many games of cricket as we can. And I think it's bringing the best out of the team, to be honest. We'll continue to do everything we can to try and keep winning."

Sammy, meanwhile, led his team with more intent and aggression in the field than at any stage of the final day in Barbados, harnessing Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach and Shane Shillingford adeptly while also bowling with typical intelligence himself to fields that were neatly balanced between attack and defence, albeit on a pitch less likely to punish aggressive captaincy or wayward bowling.

Once Australia's prospective target had been shrunk by the quality of the bowling that had confronted them, leaving the West Indies 215 to get in 61 overs, Sammy maintained his notable streak of pro-activity by attacking in his choice of batting order. The obstinate Kraigg Brathwaite was sent down the order to be replaced by Kieran Powell, an opener for the team in ODIs. Powell drove his first ball smartly to the cover fence, but once Ben Hilfenhaus had pinned him lbw, who walked out but Sammy, intent on a thoughtful attack on the bowling. He was making a few of the visitors sweat, too, before the rain arrived.

The enthusiasm engendered in the West Indies team by Sammy, and among the Australians by Clarke, has been admirable. But all parties must take a share of blame for the ridiculous sight on the third day of the two teams walking to the middle, being informed of a power cut at the ground, then traipsing straight back off for 20 minutes of postulating about the implications of simply playing cricket without the assistance of TV. Clarke admitted after the match that he did not know the rule about continuing matches without the DRS in the event of technical difficulties, while the West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said shruggingly that it was simply an example of television's power over sport.

Jeff Crowe, the match referee, and the two umpires, were much more aware of the playing conditions, and as such should not have allowed 20 minutes to tick by without any action on the field. The rain pelting Queen's Park Oval on the final afternoon was a staunch enough reminder that cricket has ample elemental obstacles without others being created by technology and bureaucracy. As ever, the spectators at the ground were thought of last of all, none given a satisfactory explanation why they were teased by the sight of the teams emerging and then retreating.

For all of that, the Trinidad Test fit in much that was worth savouring, from the batting of Shane Watson, Michael Hussey and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Australia's rare use of tandem spin to slide through the West Indian first innings, to the unbridled pace and keen intelligence shown by Roach. At 23, he is a bowler of tremendous promise and considerable threat to Australia's transitional batting order, guided soundly by the professional and ECB-approved savvy of Gibson.

Many greats of Caribbean cricket have lamented how subsequent generations have had little time for the wisdom they offered, but in Roach's case there was the tangible inspiration and ingenuity of the late Malcolm Marshall in his heart and mind. His unprompted acknowledgement of what would have been Marshall's 54th birthday on day four was a heartening moment for West Indian cricket, one that suggested the team led by Sammy is learning to take on the best lessons of the years of plenty that preceded them. Alongside the enterprise shown by Clarke and Sammy, Roach's efforts should not be washed away from cricket's collective memory by the showers that ended any chance of a result in this match.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • andrew-schulz on April 21, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Yeah, whatever Meety. Your second post is accurate regarding the rankings, except that India's win in the WI did not count in their ranking when they first got to number one. (Good thing too as it was such a tacky win). The ICC web site has a rankings predictor. You would love it, except they have now taken off the facility to check how the result of the current series would affect the rankings. Australia would move only slightly with a 1-0 win, but enough to be ahead of India. A 2-0 win would move them from 111 to 112. I have to re-iterate that, for any true student of the rankings, neither England nor India have been # 1. You can say 'fair and square', but what is the point if it is only based on Tests in their comfort zone? For Pete's sake, SL would have become number 1 if they'd clung on to their 1-0 series lead against India in 2010-and they would have beaten only Bangladesh away from home. The system is a joke. Just watch the sudden change in August-and laugh.

  • zenboomerang on April 21, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    @andrew-schulz... Well said & agree that the current ranking system is disfunctional & over biased to home teams... Rankings must include all away & home matches to give a complete guide but that is too long to give any form guide as 4 years is too long... May be a simpler method would be to give less points for home victories & against lower ranked teams so that the top team actually has to be good against most teams in most locations - a sliding scale would work easily & give a more complete picture of where teams are at...

  • Meety on April 21, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    @andrew-schulz - I would actually say that in 3yrs leading up to India taking the #1 spot they had 3 series outside of the SC (WI, Eng & NZ) in which they won all 3. As for "ficticious" drawn series, I was referring to the two Drawn series v Sth Africa home & away (concede I did not say with clarity). Oz had already lost the #1 ranking before the 5-0 Ashes dropped completely off, we then replaced it with a 1-3 result, I know the way I said it was poor/simplistic, but still it was a 7 game turn around, that was the primary driver for us dropping to 5th. I don't like the way the rankings are calculated, but under the ICC rules India & England have reached #1 fair & square. I don't believe India were truely challenged much whilst #1, (meaning playing away against good opposition), & I don't believe the Poms should be joint #1 with the Saffas atm either. I would expect that we will improve in the rankings with out having to win 2-0 or 3-0 as the comment I was responding to felt.

  • on April 21, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    The question is, how long do you want to say you're rebuilding? That just implies that you haven't got the cattle to get the job done, that you're not ready. There's a lot of fresh faces in and around the team, that's evident. But I think now they have a squad of 20 or so players to go forward with and they are playing good cricket. So then they should be backing themselves. Pattinson may well have been injured, but they still had Hilfy and Watto to swing the ball and any number of guys there to give it a twirl..... If they don't go for a win under those circumstances that would just make them like India under Dhoni, who wants that? And I will stick by my comments about the rankings... winning a series 2-0 or 3-0 will get you better rankings points than a timid 1-0 result without risks. Just go and play around with the rankings predictor tool on the ICC page. Aus should be targetting the test championship and for that they need to start climbing now!

  • andrew-schulz on April 21, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Meety, where do you get your information on the rankings system? Probably the same place you get the information about these fictitious Indian away drawn series. Your point on the rankings needs correcting, and I will again preface it by saying that this system is a disgrace, and neither India nor England have ever been close to being a true number one. The '7 match turn around' had nothing to do with Australia's ranking-the 2006/07 result had been obliterated from the rankings in August 2010, after being halved in its effect in August 2008. Likewise India 'improving from a low rate' had nothing to do with them getting to number one. They got to number one because over a three year period they played only one series outside the sub-continent. And when they got to #1 in August 2009, there was not one single away series draw in the time-frame under question, so I don't know what Tests you are following there. Aus ranking will adjust swiftly in August, when they are not even playing.

  • RandyOZ on April 21, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    Clarke again shows why he is undoubtedly the best captain, let alone batsman, on Earth at the moment. We may not be good enough to lose 4 of our last 5 tests including an embarassing whitewash against the lowly Pakistan, but we sure are cleaning up in every series we play!

  • rsgarcia on April 21, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    I am extremely proud of Windies. This entire tour has been a revelation for those who have not been watching the slow but steady improvements over the last couple of years. For all those so sure the Aussies were in front--I'd just like to point out they were short a frontline bowler and Windies were clearly flustering them. Whether Sammy survived is not the point. You would have still had to have a game plan for the Guyanese, including the irrepressible Tiger, who can turn up the run rate at will. Normally, Windies fans would be happy with a draw, but we all felt the magic coming together. The rain ruined an exciting ending. Oh well--I wonder where all the 'Windes will be lucky to win a match on this tour' people are now, hmmm? Keep underestimating us RandyOz, Marcio and others! Just makes the match sweeter! On to Dominica! Windies! Now and Forever!

  • Doogius on April 21, 2012, 2:10 GMT

    @Meety, geez, must be a new game of cricket, you get points for being 'in front'. Only 200 in front, down a bowler, up in the series, need a draw to win the trophy and you declare and give the WI the chance to get back into the series. Proof, simple - if he had the confidence in the bowling to get out the WI if they shut up shop, would have declared later. The only way he thought he could get 10 wickets was if they were having a go - hence the dec. FTR, your right about India except you missed something - the consistency was from playing 27 out of 32 tests within 100km of India on subcontinental roads with arguably the best batting line up in the world for the last 10 years. Might have had something to do with it.

  • Ansido on April 20, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    This is test cricket. Thought, tactics and attacking positive play. Shame about the weather: having said that, the fan who comes to the ground to watch cricket must be given top priority. What would the game be like without the fans at the stadiums?

  • Meety on April 20, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    @Bollo - agree with both your comments. @Jono Makim - India got to #1 because they were consistant & their win/loss ratio was improving from a low rate. (Win/loss ratio ultimately drives the rankings). India did not win many away series - mainly drawing them. Oz fell so far down the rankings primarily on the back of a 7 match turn around in the home Ashes (5-0 to 1-3), (losing at home to the Saffas did not help). So whilst an awful series result could Oz some rankings momentum, a series win against Saffas at home or against England will see the ratings adjust swiftly. Oz currently hold all bilateral test series except one. I would say setting a target against the WIndies in the 2nd test & the way Oz won the 1st test is ample signs that the Ozzys are pushing themselves!!! @ Tumbarumbar - why do you have to bag Clarke to make your case for Punter? @Doogius - yes we are in a re-building stage as you adequately point out, I would say Oz were still in front in the 2nd test.

  • andrew-schulz on April 21, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Yeah, whatever Meety. Your second post is accurate regarding the rankings, except that India's win in the WI did not count in their ranking when they first got to number one. (Good thing too as it was such a tacky win). The ICC web site has a rankings predictor. You would love it, except they have now taken off the facility to check how the result of the current series would affect the rankings. Australia would move only slightly with a 1-0 win, but enough to be ahead of India. A 2-0 win would move them from 111 to 112. I have to re-iterate that, for any true student of the rankings, neither England nor India have been # 1. You can say 'fair and square', but what is the point if it is only based on Tests in their comfort zone? For Pete's sake, SL would have become number 1 if they'd clung on to their 1-0 series lead against India in 2010-and they would have beaten only Bangladesh away from home. The system is a joke. Just watch the sudden change in August-and laugh.

  • zenboomerang on April 21, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    @andrew-schulz... Well said & agree that the current ranking system is disfunctional & over biased to home teams... Rankings must include all away & home matches to give a complete guide but that is too long to give any form guide as 4 years is too long... May be a simpler method would be to give less points for home victories & against lower ranked teams so that the top team actually has to be good against most teams in most locations - a sliding scale would work easily & give a more complete picture of where teams are at...

  • Meety on April 21, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    @andrew-schulz - I would actually say that in 3yrs leading up to India taking the #1 spot they had 3 series outside of the SC (WI, Eng & NZ) in which they won all 3. As for "ficticious" drawn series, I was referring to the two Drawn series v Sth Africa home & away (concede I did not say with clarity). Oz had already lost the #1 ranking before the 5-0 Ashes dropped completely off, we then replaced it with a 1-3 result, I know the way I said it was poor/simplistic, but still it was a 7 game turn around, that was the primary driver for us dropping to 5th. I don't like the way the rankings are calculated, but under the ICC rules India & England have reached #1 fair & square. I don't believe India were truely challenged much whilst #1, (meaning playing away against good opposition), & I don't believe the Poms should be joint #1 with the Saffas atm either. I would expect that we will improve in the rankings with out having to win 2-0 or 3-0 as the comment I was responding to felt.

  • on April 21, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    The question is, how long do you want to say you're rebuilding? That just implies that you haven't got the cattle to get the job done, that you're not ready. There's a lot of fresh faces in and around the team, that's evident. But I think now they have a squad of 20 or so players to go forward with and they are playing good cricket. So then they should be backing themselves. Pattinson may well have been injured, but they still had Hilfy and Watto to swing the ball and any number of guys there to give it a twirl..... If they don't go for a win under those circumstances that would just make them like India under Dhoni, who wants that? And I will stick by my comments about the rankings... winning a series 2-0 or 3-0 will get you better rankings points than a timid 1-0 result without risks. Just go and play around with the rankings predictor tool on the ICC page. Aus should be targetting the test championship and for that they need to start climbing now!

  • andrew-schulz on April 21, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Meety, where do you get your information on the rankings system? Probably the same place you get the information about these fictitious Indian away drawn series. Your point on the rankings needs correcting, and I will again preface it by saying that this system is a disgrace, and neither India nor England have ever been close to being a true number one. The '7 match turn around' had nothing to do with Australia's ranking-the 2006/07 result had been obliterated from the rankings in August 2010, after being halved in its effect in August 2008. Likewise India 'improving from a low rate' had nothing to do with them getting to number one. They got to number one because over a three year period they played only one series outside the sub-continent. And when they got to #1 in August 2009, there was not one single away series draw in the time-frame under question, so I don't know what Tests you are following there. Aus ranking will adjust swiftly in August, when they are not even playing.

  • RandyOZ on April 21, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    Clarke again shows why he is undoubtedly the best captain, let alone batsman, on Earth at the moment. We may not be good enough to lose 4 of our last 5 tests including an embarassing whitewash against the lowly Pakistan, but we sure are cleaning up in every series we play!

  • rsgarcia on April 21, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    I am extremely proud of Windies. This entire tour has been a revelation for those who have not been watching the slow but steady improvements over the last couple of years. For all those so sure the Aussies were in front--I'd just like to point out they were short a frontline bowler and Windies were clearly flustering them. Whether Sammy survived is not the point. You would have still had to have a game plan for the Guyanese, including the irrepressible Tiger, who can turn up the run rate at will. Normally, Windies fans would be happy with a draw, but we all felt the magic coming together. The rain ruined an exciting ending. Oh well--I wonder where all the 'Windes will be lucky to win a match on this tour' people are now, hmmm? Keep underestimating us RandyOz, Marcio and others! Just makes the match sweeter! On to Dominica! Windies! Now and Forever!

  • Doogius on April 21, 2012, 2:10 GMT

    @Meety, geez, must be a new game of cricket, you get points for being 'in front'. Only 200 in front, down a bowler, up in the series, need a draw to win the trophy and you declare and give the WI the chance to get back into the series. Proof, simple - if he had the confidence in the bowling to get out the WI if they shut up shop, would have declared later. The only way he thought he could get 10 wickets was if they were having a go - hence the dec. FTR, your right about India except you missed something - the consistency was from playing 27 out of 32 tests within 100km of India on subcontinental roads with arguably the best batting line up in the world for the last 10 years. Might have had something to do with it.

  • Ansido on April 20, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    This is test cricket. Thought, tactics and attacking positive play. Shame about the weather: having said that, the fan who comes to the ground to watch cricket must be given top priority. What would the game be like without the fans at the stadiums?

  • Meety on April 20, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    @Bollo - agree with both your comments. @Jono Makim - India got to #1 because they were consistant & their win/loss ratio was improving from a low rate. (Win/loss ratio ultimately drives the rankings). India did not win many away series - mainly drawing them. Oz fell so far down the rankings primarily on the back of a 7 match turn around in the home Ashes (5-0 to 1-3), (losing at home to the Saffas did not help). So whilst an awful series result could Oz some rankings momentum, a series win against Saffas at home or against England will see the ratings adjust swiftly. Oz currently hold all bilateral test series except one. I would say setting a target against the WIndies in the 2nd test & the way Oz won the 1st test is ample signs that the Ozzys are pushing themselves!!! @ Tumbarumbar - why do you have to bag Clarke to make your case for Punter? @Doogius - yes we are in a re-building stage as you adequately point out, I would say Oz were still in front in the 2nd test.

  • Doogius on April 20, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    @Bollo, 165 @3.3 with only 2 wickets down and the other team is short an opening bowler. And you think the bowling team was favourite?? @ Jono, not rebuilding? From 2 years ago, 2 new openers, 1 new spinner, 1 new captain, 1 new opening bowler, 1 new wk and thats just for the last test. Were no. 1, now no. 3/4 and we are not rebuilding??? And to top it all off, India lost no. 1 because they only won 1-0, perhaps the inability to win outside the sub continent may have had something to do with it. The Aussies need to be winning series, not risking losses, again, Clarke was lucky

  • Tumbarumbar on April 20, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    Once again Australia was saved from embarassment in a low scoring second innings on a wearing pitch by Ponting. Rarely does Australia win or even draw games on wearing pitches unless Ponting contributes in the second innings and it is no surprise that the Aussies fall from grace paralleled his loss of form and their recent rise has pretty much coincided with his rise. What happens when he either retires or loses form again Heavens only knows because Michael Clarke, the man who should be doing the job, is showing distressing signs of being a first innings specialist when it comes to wearing pitches.

  • on April 20, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    WI are playing well throught d game..but just one session..a bad hour...or something like that is becoming a problem ...not dissmising tail enders in first match..losing 6 for 20 odd in 2nd match...for WI they just need to be consistent throught a match.. they r palying good though..hopefully WI win in dominica..:)

  • Smithie on April 20, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    Interesting comparison with Dhoni/Fletcher's attitude in Dominica / 2010 . This time both Captain's had a win firmly fixed as the objective. 86 off 90 balls and not have a go was such a waste for the 12,000 fans who turned up and deserved better from India. Hopefully they will get their monies worth next week from these two positive Captains.

  • on April 20, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    @Doogius. I disagree completely with your call on Clarke's decision to push for victory. That would have been a very difficult chase, but that is beside the point, I think. I don't really think it can be said that Australia is 'rebuilding'. While they still need to find a couple of middle order batsman I think they have settled on a squad of players to take them forward. That is probably also beside the point, which is? The Aussies, to climb back up the rankings need to win games, not just series... a few 1-0 series wins does not and will not make you no.1. Look at India, they just weren't putting teams away.. two very poor series later and they are facing a vey long road back to the top. The Aussies need to be winning series like this 2-0 or 3-0. Not only that but they need to push themselves to grow confidence, not sit on their bat handles or push all their fieldsmen out to the boundary. Clarke i'm sure realises this and is captaining accordingly.

  • Bollo on April 20, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    cont`d...having said that, @Hammond and Doogius - I believe Clarke`s remonstrations with the umpires as they walked off made it blatantly clear that `victory thwarted` rather than `palpable relief` was the over-riding emotion. To suggest that the Australian dressing room was celebrating after that finish reveals a complete lack of understanding of Australian cricket, an obvious misreading of match situation, and disrespect towards Australian cricketing culture. Every one of those players would have felt robbed. With another 165 runs at 3.3 rpo needed with 2 wickets down - Aus were quite obviously the clear-cut favourites if the match had gone the distance, draw second, WI win a distant 3rd.

  • Bollo on April 20, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    Yeah, a very disappointing finish to what was looming as another exciting final day.

    For all his limitations, I remain a huge fan of Darren Sammy as a cricketer and leader - an average of 18 with the bat and 30 with the ball, while not brilliant figures, are hardly those of an incompetent test cricketer as some still like to portray him. Most importantly, he has been able to instill a renewed sense of pride in team and heritage against the backdrop of a shambolic administration and the absence of many stars.

    No team in the history of cricket has given more enjoyment to the neutral fan than the Windies, and to see them playing again as a real team is fabulous for the game.

    Even as an Australian fan, I was happy to see the Windies finish the match on a positive note. A draw was at least some reward for their strong performances in the first 2 tests. ..cont`d

  • on April 20, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    The commercial delay was pathetic. However, respect for Sammy, in fact both captains, for the approach to the game. If test cricket is to survive, this is the way to go.

  • barrick on April 20, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    Just on that point, though, I wonder what would happen if a problem developed with one specific piece of technology during a match; e.g. the Hotspot camera. Given that not all agreed technology is then available, should all players come off at that point?

  • barrick on April 20, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    @zenboomerang: Thanks for the clarification. I genuinely wasn't trying to point fingers, even at the Australians!, or even trying to construct a conspiracy theory. We knew that there was no DRS due to the power cut, it was simply that I'd not heard from anywhere a phrase along the lines of 'There was no play because X has decreed so/due to Regulation X", even in the report above.

  • on April 20, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    Lets face it,sports have unfortunately have become big business,and the dollar matters most.Hence all the corruption in sports we have sadly become accustomed to.TV and the advertising revenue it generates seem to determine what sports we wish to watch and when nd how we watch them.

  • zenboomerang on April 20, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    @rajaiyer :- "Though it may sound premature and preposterous, this series reminds me of the best known series, when Windies toured Australia in 1960-61"... Yes a magic series & one I was lucky enough to see at Adelaide with my grandparents... Truly the greatest match I have ever watched...

  • zenboomerang on April 20, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    @barrick :- "the coverage here in the UK seemed to suggest that Australia had refused to play"... How unusual... lol... To put it simply, the TV broadcasters informed the umpires that TV & any reviews (runouts, etc...) couldn't happen due to power problems... This obviously changes the match conditions that both teams agreed to before the tour started, therefore both captains, coaches & officials had to agree to the changed conditions before play could start... If you believe media coverage, then I'm sorry but you will always be looking for conspiracies where they don't exist...

  • zenboomerang on April 20, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    @Marcio :- "I don't know too many captains..."... Yes agree, not many other countries captains in the last 20 years, but I've seen Taylor, Waugh, Ponting all push for a win over a draw on a number of occasions... Really is an Oz way of playing that is ingrained in us... But I also give credit to Sammy in his approach in this match & the in the end the weather ended what could have been a highly interesting last session...

  • AidanFX on April 20, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    Well done to both sides - Clarke is setting a good precedent for world cricket. As an Aussie; I will be happy to watch my side lose under such circumstances. I am not into bashing Ponting like some - but it was as aspect of his game as captain that could be frustrating - he tended to be come more controlling and conservative as he lost a lot of the stars. As for looking at the team more specifically - well the best way to become the best is to be ruthlessly competetive; even if you are working your way up from ordinary status. I say keep this approach Clarky!

  • rienzied on April 20, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    Sammy's captaincy was below average. he lacks any imagination and there was a period before lunch when the Windies had the Aussies at 90+ for 5, and he kept on bowling himself and Shillingford. It is insane that he didnt bring in Kemar nor fidel on. His horrible first innings dismissal was typical of his leadership as well as his numerous drop catches thus far. the fact he came in and scored in the 2nd dig was not bad, however he is not worthy of a place and his captaincy is horrendous, Clarke on the other is a good captain and will only get better

  • Vivian_Richard on April 20, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Sammy and Clarke can both take a bow. If Michael showed how intent they were on winning with that declaration, Darren almost upstaged that decision by promoting himself way up the order. It's the kind of gamble that reminded of Dravid's decision to promote Irfan up the order when we needed 200 of 25 odd overs against Eng. Bad light robbed us two exciting finishes.

  • rajaiyer on April 20, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    I've been following the approaches of both the captains and find them to have a refreshingly positive attitude and never say die spirit. Extremely glad to see the Windies playing the type of cricket, they're known for. Especially, under Sammy's leadership, they are playing with a lot of pride. They gave India a tough time on its tour to Windies in 2011 as well as gave a first innings lead in two out of the 3 Tests, when they toured India. My heart warms up seeing such good cricket from Windies. In such circumstances, it is good that Windies do not have the Gayle force with them. Though I had my initial reservations about Clarke as a Captain, he seems to be going from strength to strength. Not only is he leading very positively, there is a refreshing sporting approach about him. Though it may sound premature and preposterous, this series reminds me of the best known series, when Windies toured Australia in 1960-61. Both are playing a different brand of cricket. Keep it up boys.

  • CricketMaan on April 20, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    Id love to see Tony Grieg's reaction to the 20 minutes commercial delay. Often he blames BCCI for all the sins in World cricket..This was CA and WICB...isn't he too a paid official (ofcourse via Ch 9) of CA??

  • barrick on April 20, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    Perhaps I haven't read between the lines sufficiently, but I'm still rather in the dark (no pun intended) as to the cause of the delay on Tuesday morning. Whether their sources are accurate, I don't know, but the coverage here in the UK seemed to suggest that Australia had refused to play, and then that the decision to play or not fell entirely within the ICC's remit, and that they had clearly decided that play should not start.

  • on April 20, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    great work keep the spirit of the great legend up

  • Doogius on April 20, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    A good game but this captaincy lovefest is getting sickening. Sammys captaincy was forced by Clarkes decision and the fact he was 1 down in the series. He had no choice but to throw some tonkers to the top of the order and go for it, the best you can say is he at least led by example. Clarkes decision might have been great for the punters watching but dumb for an Oz team rebuilding. We need series victories, which he puts at risk by going for a win. Aggressive captaincy is fine but when your opening bowler is sitting in the sheds and you need wickets, well its a fine line between bravery and stupidity. Personally, I think the rain saved Clarkes captaincy career, if Sammy had of gone on for another 40 mins, I suspect the papers in Oz would have crucified him and well, well deserved. On a positive note, how good is Kemar Roach, absolutely magic....

  • satish619chandar on April 20, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    These guys deserve tremendous accoloades for their attitude.. Only these kinds of sporting behavior and decisions will make the game interesting and people engaged to the format.. Clarke & co could have preferred a boring draw and had a free batting ahead of next game.. But they went for it and more than that Sammy took it on himself to send his intentions across at times where none would have blamed him had they got a slow and steady draw.. Thanks guys for keeping it interesting until it was it in your hands.. Sad none can do anything about the nature!!

  • disco_bob on April 20, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    If we hypothetically imagine that the DRS was suddenly unavailable for the final 3 overs of the first Test, it is easy to see that there would in no way be a decision to abandon the Test. Therefore consistency must dictate the same answer must hold in every case.

  • Vindaliew on April 20, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    West Indies and Australia, and especially their captains, have both earned a tremendous amount of respect after this series - although both for contrasting reasons. West Indies have shown more than occasional glimpses of a team which, although not hugely talented, can regularly punch above its weight and at least look realistically to being up there with the better Test teams, while Australia have shown sportsmanship and goodwill which has been unheard of in the better part of the last 20 years. Both Clarke, bereft of the world-class resources Ponting had, and Sammy, who is also missing one of the biggest names on his teamsheet, have managed to coax out a team performance in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The result didn't really matter - Australian cricket, West Indian cricket, and cricket fans in general are the real winner here.

  • mehulmatrix on April 20, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    Nice to see the attitude of the captains. I feel from last few years, the captains lack positivity and courage and at times let the game just meander away. It was nice from Clarke to declare and then Sammy to come out himself. Though Sammy at times seems immature in celebrations and talking about his bowling, his call on the bump catch was a gentleman/sporting gesture. Hes got the talent to score fast, but gets carried away and throws away his wicket many times( gift-wrapped haha). Hope he can mature in a better all-rounder. Has been a good series so far!

  • vparisa on April 20, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    Always wondered why Shane Warne liked Clarke so much and i no longer wonder. Amazing cricketer and aggressive captain

  • Hammond on April 20, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    I am 100% sure that MC was breathing palpable relief after the rain poured down. Reminds me of Michael Vaughan saying to his team after the 3rd test 2005 "look closely boys- this is the first time you will have seen Australia celebrating a draw"- I'm sure a lot of celebrating was going on yesterday in the change room as the rain washed the windies chances of winning the test away..

  • KanchanBNZ on April 20, 2012, 0:37 GMT

    I wonder, was it as dark today as it was last game (when the players stayed on)?

  • Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on April 20, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Great captaincy on both sides still couldn't get past the rain. Some great bowling perfomances too. As washed out drawn tests go, this was among the best, although that's probably not saying a great deal.

  • Marcio on April 20, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    Good on the captains for having a go, especially Clarke, who had much more to lose. I don't know too many captains, one up in a 3 match series, who would have risked losing to go for a win, especially with one bowler out injured. Having said that, I think Sammy's slogging at the end created the illusion that the WI were in a with a good chance to win (as opposed to the reality that it was a very long shot). You can't win test matches with 40 overs of slogging, and sooner rather than later those edges/slogs will get batsmen out and pressure would build. Also, as the ball got older scoring would have been very difficult. Still, have to give the WI credit for trying, even though they had little to lose.

  • on April 20, 2012, 0:05 GMT

    Indeed, it's sad that broadcasters could rob the test match of a vital few moments when the game could have moved forward. Clarke and Sammy both showed enterprise and armed with feebler resources than some of the "top-ranked" teams - showed much better instinct for the game. It was heartening to see Roach bowling like he did, and that little bit of 'sense of history' which often translates to pride and performance.

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  • on April 20, 2012, 0:05 GMT

    Indeed, it's sad that broadcasters could rob the test match of a vital few moments when the game could have moved forward. Clarke and Sammy both showed enterprise and armed with feebler resources than some of the "top-ranked" teams - showed much better instinct for the game. It was heartening to see Roach bowling like he did, and that little bit of 'sense of history' which often translates to pride and performance.

  • Marcio on April 20, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    Good on the captains for having a go, especially Clarke, who had much more to lose. I don't know too many captains, one up in a 3 match series, who would have risked losing to go for a win, especially with one bowler out injured. Having said that, I think Sammy's slogging at the end created the illusion that the WI were in a with a good chance to win (as opposed to the reality that it was a very long shot). You can't win test matches with 40 overs of slogging, and sooner rather than later those edges/slogs will get batsmen out and pressure would build. Also, as the ball got older scoring would have been very difficult. Still, have to give the WI credit for trying, even though they had little to lose.

  • Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on April 20, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Great captaincy on both sides still couldn't get past the rain. Some great bowling perfomances too. As washed out drawn tests go, this was among the best, although that's probably not saying a great deal.

  • KanchanBNZ on April 20, 2012, 0:37 GMT

    I wonder, was it as dark today as it was last game (when the players stayed on)?

  • Hammond on April 20, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    I am 100% sure that MC was breathing palpable relief after the rain poured down. Reminds me of Michael Vaughan saying to his team after the 3rd test 2005 "look closely boys- this is the first time you will have seen Australia celebrating a draw"- I'm sure a lot of celebrating was going on yesterday in the change room as the rain washed the windies chances of winning the test away..

  • vparisa on April 20, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    Always wondered why Shane Warne liked Clarke so much and i no longer wonder. Amazing cricketer and aggressive captain

  • mehulmatrix on April 20, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    Nice to see the attitude of the captains. I feel from last few years, the captains lack positivity and courage and at times let the game just meander away. It was nice from Clarke to declare and then Sammy to come out himself. Though Sammy at times seems immature in celebrations and talking about his bowling, his call on the bump catch was a gentleman/sporting gesture. Hes got the talent to score fast, but gets carried away and throws away his wicket many times( gift-wrapped haha). Hope he can mature in a better all-rounder. Has been a good series so far!

  • Vindaliew on April 20, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    West Indies and Australia, and especially their captains, have both earned a tremendous amount of respect after this series - although both for contrasting reasons. West Indies have shown more than occasional glimpses of a team which, although not hugely talented, can regularly punch above its weight and at least look realistically to being up there with the better Test teams, while Australia have shown sportsmanship and goodwill which has been unheard of in the better part of the last 20 years. Both Clarke, bereft of the world-class resources Ponting had, and Sammy, who is also missing one of the biggest names on his teamsheet, have managed to coax out a team performance in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The result didn't really matter - Australian cricket, West Indian cricket, and cricket fans in general are the real winner here.

  • disco_bob on April 20, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    If we hypothetically imagine that the DRS was suddenly unavailable for the final 3 overs of the first Test, it is easy to see that there would in no way be a decision to abandon the Test. Therefore consistency must dictate the same answer must hold in every case.

  • satish619chandar on April 20, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    These guys deserve tremendous accoloades for their attitude.. Only these kinds of sporting behavior and decisions will make the game interesting and people engaged to the format.. Clarke & co could have preferred a boring draw and had a free batting ahead of next game.. But they went for it and more than that Sammy took it on himself to send his intentions across at times where none would have blamed him had they got a slow and steady draw.. Thanks guys for keeping it interesting until it was it in your hands.. Sad none can do anything about the nature!!